- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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A lot has happened to middleweight contender Andy in the past seven months.
First, he was stopped in the seventh round by Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in a world title bout in June. A few months later, his longtime trainer and dear friend Emanuel Steward, with whom he had lived in Detroit for several years, died. And then Lee, still mourning Steward's death, returned to his home country of Ireland to begin training with Adam Booth in hopes of getting his career back on track.
On Saturday night in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the 28-year-old Lee (28-2, 20 KOs) goes back to work. He will face Anthony Fitzgerald (13-3, 4 KOs) at the Odyssey Arena on the undercard of European junior featherweight champion Kiko Martinez's defense against hot-shot prospect Carl Frampton.
"I'm ready to fight," Lee said. "My training has gone to plan. I'm really enjoying working with Adam. I am learning and improving with every training session. I'm very focused for this fight and expect a good performance."
Booth is best known for his work as trainer to former heavyweight titlist David Haye and super middleweight contender George Groves.
"He's an excellent, world-class trainer," Lee said. "We have worked hard together over the last five months in the gym reappraising my boxing style and making adjustments to my game. He's a very smart and strategic trainer and he has taught me a lot of new things in a short period of time.
"A new location and trainer has reinvigorated me. It is a new beginning and chapter in my life. I can't wait to step into the ring and get back to winning ways. Anthony Fitzgerald is a game and gutsy fighter and he is looking for an upset. However, I'm totally focused on the job at hand, I will be in Belfast to take care of business and leave nothing to chance. I intend to put in a quality performance and showcase my skills with an impressive win come Saturday night."
If Lee wins, potential matchups with other fighters from the United Kingdom that have been discussed include Matthew Macklin, Darren Barker and Martin Murray, although Barker and Murray also have fights scheduled and Macklin is a possible June opponent for titlist Gennady Golovkin.